Friday, September 24, 2010

RIP Read #9: The Little Stranger

It turns out that I couldn't wait any longer to pick up my next Sarah Waters book after a rather good experience with Fingersmith.  Now, I'm even a bigger fan of Waters after reading The Little Stranger.  It was a perfect study of post-war England with a touch of unexplained darkness.

If you're one of the few who hasn't heard of this story yet, it's about the Ayres family--mother, daughter and son--who are coping with the deterioration of their home, Hundreds Hall, war injuries (both physical and mental) and a possible malicious presence in their home.  Told by the local physician, Dr. Faraday, this is a story of love, obligation and change.

I don't think I can praise this book enough.  When I was about a third of the way through it, I sat back at one point and thought "this is exactly the book that I want to read" and not just because it was a wonderful RIP read.  It was simply a perfect picture of the changing times in the years after World War II -- both for the nobility and for women.  I'm still looking forward to Affinity but, for now, this is my favorite Sarah Waters novel.

Watching it all fall down,

Support our site and buy The Little Stranger on Amazon or find it at your local library.  We bought our own copy.


  1. This was a book that really grew on me. I first rated it 3/5 but over tme I still think about it and now I would say it was a 4/5. The writing in it was stunning and so was the imagy and decribtions

  2. This is one book I need to get a copy of. I like Water's writing a lot. Great review Kristen.

  3. This was my first Waters, and I loved it to pieces. I only have Affinity and Tipping the Velvet left to read, but so far the three others I've read are all tied for my favorite Waters ;)

  4. i liked Fingersmith myself and have this on my wish list!! I'm glad it was so good, now I can't wait to get it

  5. >>> When I was about a third of the way through it, I sat back at one point and thought "this is exactly the book that I want to read" and not just because it was a wonderful RIP read.

    I love it when I have this feeling about a book I'm reading. When it happens, I like to slow my reading down and enjoy every moment, because I know the next book won't be quite as pleasing. :)

  6. I plan to read this is in October. Looking forward to seeing what I think of it. Thanks for the review!

  7. I read this last year for RIP and loved it. Like you, I kept thinking about how much I wanted to be reading that particular book at that particular time! I haven't read any other Sarah Waters books, but I look forward to doing so someday.

  8. You are doing really well with the RIP challenge! I definitely want to read this one and hopefully I get to it before the end of next month!

  9. Apparently, I need to move this up in my list for RIP Reads. So glad you enjoyed it so much -- and wow! RIP Read #9?? You go, girl!

  10. I'm glad you enjoyed this book, Kristen. I read it a few months ago and I thought the scene-setting was superb.

    I enjoyed Affinity too - again, wonderful descriptions and twists in the tale. The only Waters book I just couldn't get into was The Night Watch. Haven't read Tipping The Velvet

  11. Oh I'm so glad to hear this. I got this as my next Sarah Waters read ... glad to hear it "lived up" to or even exceeded the wonderfulness of "Fingersmith."

  12. Jessica - Interesting that you've come to appreciate it more over time. Have you read any other Waters?

    Diane - I hope you pick it up. It was fantastic!

    Teresa - I'm glad that this is only my second so that I have more to look forward to!

    Deslily - I think you'll love this one too.

    Jenny - It was a really good feeling and I did savor it. It's rare to have that complete feeling of comfort with a novel.

    Kailana - I hope you like it too!

    Terri - This is definitely one book that lives up to the hype. I hope you enjoy your next Waters as much!

    Lola - I hope you do too. It's a perfect one for the season!

    Overflowing - Don't put this one off. It's worth the time! And yes, I'm crazy. ;)

    Tracy - The scenes seemed perfect. I have Affinity and The Night Watch here so I'm sure I will get to them within the next year.

    Jenners - I think you'll like this just as much. It's not as twisty as Fingersmith but I think it's stronger in a lot of ways.

  13. I have not yet read any books by Waters, but I am definitely adding them to my ever-growing list! :) Especially considering that I tend to love your recommendations!

  14. Tif - I'm just sorry that I didn't start reading her books earlier!